Royal heartbreak: Why the Queen’s father ‘secretly dreaded’ her marrying ‘rough’ Philip

The author of ‘Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Life’, Philip Eade, revealed King George VI was frightened he would lose his daughter as a companion after she married the Prince. Writing in The Daily Telegraph Mr Eade revealed how King George was worried about his relationship with his daughter and explained the reasons he and the Queen Mother did not think Philip was a suitable match. Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting, Mabell Airlie, told Mr Eade the King had a “secret dread” of losing “his constant companion in shooting, walking, riding – in fact everything.”

George VI eventually agreed to let his daughter marry Philip of Greece and Denmark, as he used to known, on the condition she waited until she was 21.

Mr Eade’s article revealed the King and the Queen mother were keen to delay the engagement as they found Philip “rough, ill-mannered, uneducated and would probably be faithful”.

He added guests at Balmoral reportedly found Philip “rather unpolished”.

The Queen’s third cousin and daughter of the Duke and Edinburgh’s uncle Lois Mountbatten, Lady Pamela Hicks, previously admitted the couple’s relationship got off to a rocky start.

She spoke to Vanity Fair journalist James Reginato in 2013 and revealed details about the Queen and Philip’s early days.

Lady Pamela explained at her sister Patricia’s wedding in 1946 there was a monumental moment for the couple.

Philip was seen taking the coat of the young Princess Elizabeth which caused a media frenzy.

Her parents, King George and the Queen Mother were less than impressed.

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Lady Pamela said: “The King and the Queen were appalled.

“The thought that he might become a son-in-law was most unwelcome.

“Why wasn’t she marrying some respectable English duke?

“Yes, he was a Prince of Greece and Denmark. But very suspect, Greece – they get rid of their royal families regularly. And he had no money.”


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The disapproval had no impact on the royal romance, with the Queen and Philip marrying in a historic ceremony on November 20 in 1947.

Mr Eade claimed the more they got to know him, the more King George and Queen Mary liked him, especially George VI, who appreciated his forthright manner, joshing humour and love of the outdoors.

The author claimed Philip’s “forthrightness and independence were precisely the traits that had won Elizabeth’s heart”.

Elizabeth and Philip met 13 years before they were married at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, Duke of Kent in 1943.

After a third meeting in July 1939 the future Queen, who was 13 at the time, is said to have fallen in love with Philip and the two began to exchange letters.

The couple became secretly engaged in 1946.

George VI ordered any formal engagement to be delayed until after his daughter’s 21st birthday in April 1947.

The couple reached their platinum wedding anniversary in 2017 which marked 70 years since their wedding day.

Prince Philip is now the longest serving royal consort in British history.

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